New growth: sure sign of spring

Spring will soon be here. One sure sign are the indoor plants reacting to longer days by putting out new growth. During the time between dormancy and active growth, care must be taken with water and nutrients.

Spring will soon be here.

One sure sign are the indoor plants reacting to longer days by putting out new growth.

During the time between dormancy and active growth, care must be taken with water and nutrients.

When plants are actively growing, they will use more water than they did during the winter months but not as much as during the summer.

Always check to make sure the soil is dry below the surface before watering.

The best method is to pour water into the container until it runs out of the bottom of the pot.

When the pot is finished draining, empty the saucer of excess water.

Providing enough moisture for the water to flow through the soil distributes the moisture evenly in the soil, encouraging more roots to form throughout the pot.

The flow of water will also flush out excess amounts of salts and fertilizers that can built up in the soil.

Plants that need to be watered more than once a week often need to be repotted.

To be on the safe side, remove the pot and look at the rootball.

Plants need to be repotted when their rootball is a mass of roots that wind around the inside of the pot and are often poking through the drainage holes.

When repotting, choose a pot one size larger than the one the plant is already in.

Place some soil on the bottom of the new pot before removing the old pot.

Break apart the root mass to encourage the roots to spread out into the larger pot.

When there are too many roots, remove some of the thicker mature ones that are circling the pot.

Take care to leave as many of the fine roots in place as possible as these ones absorb most of the moisture and nutrients.

Place the rootball in the new pot and add as much soil as needed.

Water and add more soil until it is about an inch (two cm) below the rim of the pot.

Having space at the top of the pot makes watering plants easier.

Potting mixtures contain little if any soil.

Expect to find finely chopped peat moss with a little vermiculite or perlite mixed in.

Peat moss does not contain nutrients, which mean that to have lush plants it is essential to fertilize regularly unless slow release fertilizer has been added to the mixture.

Houseplant fertilizer comes in a number of forms: powder, granules, tablet/spike or in a liquid.

Add the powder to the watering can and stir until it the fertilizer is completely dissolved.

Using warmer water will help the fertilizer to dissolve faster.

Follow the instructions on the package as it is easy to put too much powder fertilizer into the watering can.

Granules, spikes and tablets are placed in the soil and release a small amount of fertilizer each time they come in contact with moisture, which causes them to dissolve.

If the soil is not moist enough to dissolve the fertilizer, the plant will be without nutrients.

Liquid fertilizer can be concentrated or premixed.

Never apply concentrated fertilizer. Always dilute it following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Premixed liquid fertilizer is bulky but easy to use as it doesn’t need to be mixed before it is applied.

Plants that are given too much fertilizer will be damaged, which can range from burned edges of leaves to dead plants.

A little time spent caring for the houseplants will help produce a better plant.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist who lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at your_garden@hotmail.com.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

The RDC Queens picked up an extra special victory on home ice… Continue reading

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read